YOU’VE GOT TO GO TO GLASGOW
Twenty years ago, when The Global Goddess was a rookie backpacker doing the Australian working holiday in London rite-of-passage thing, she ended up in Scotland working for a summer. In what I reckon was one of the best summers of my life, I arrived during the Edinburgh Festival, worked all day and then went to shows all night with my then-partner and two of my best friends. At the end of the festival, I found myself waitressing in a small inn in the Scottish Highlands. Days off were spent sailing the lochs, traipsing the mountains and looking for hairy cattle, and of course, Nessie. (There may have been a whisky or two as well thrown in). But I never got to Glasgow. The Global Goddess recently had breakfast with the fine folk from the Glasgow City Marketing Bureau who convinced her why she should go to Glasgow in 2014. Among a range of reasons, next year it’s hosting the Commonwealth Games and will be home to a range of festivals, activities, performances and celebrations. And if there’s one thing the Scots know how to do well, it’s party. http://www.seeglasgow.com
TAKE THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED
Earlier this year, when The Global Goddess was in Fiji, the weather was, well, less than perfect. But it didn’t matter, as there’s plenty to do away from the beach when a tropical low blows in. I was fortunate to go on the Off-Road Cave Safari in a cool red, open-air jeep, to Naihehe Cave, Fiji’s largest cave system. This fun and fabulous tour is run by the same people who operate the Sigatoka River Safari. These tour operators have recently demonstrated their continuing social conscience by purchasing 10 new laptops for Mavua District School. Established in the 1930s, this school enrolls primary students from neighbouring villages, kids who have never heard of a computer before now. So every time you take one of their two tours, in a way you are contributing to improving the lives of the villagers in this lovely land. http://www.sigatokariver.com
I AM WOMAN, SEE ME TRAVEL
The award-winning team behind Travelscene Nowra on the south coast of New South Wales are poised to launched Shoalhaven Solo Sisters, a new project to help open up the world to independent female travellers. Travel entrepreneurs Leonie Clay and Julie Preston (pictured below) are the brains behind this project which will offer annual group packages to targeted destinations around the world. Single travellers can join the group and be matched with a like-minded person to share accommodation and bring down those prohibitive costs that we single girls face. It’s also aimed at eliminating safety concerns while providing companionship for solo female travellers. The Global Goddess reckons any initiative that gets more women out and about in the world is a good one. Shoalhaven Solo Sisters will be officially launched on November 21 and the inaugural trip planned is to Norfolk Island. firstname.lastname@example.org
FRIDAY NIGHTS WITH A TWIST
Regular Global Goddess readers will know that she gains enormous benefit from my her Monday meditation class. For me, going to meditation helps slow my crazy, busy mind, and makes some room to gain perspective and enhance creativity when it comes to every aspect of my life. (So, I haven’t yet been able to conjure up a bloke, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time). Now, my lovely instructor Rhia Valentine (don’t you just love that surname?) is launching Friday nights with a twist. Once a month, you can attend a three-hour Friday evening session on Consciousness, Expansion & Improvement. These sessions are in inner west Brisbane. The first session will be held on November 22 at 6.30pm and then monthly in 2014. To book a seat contact email@example.com or 0450 520 438.
AND THE WINNER IS….
Thank you to all of you who entered The Global Goddess’ latest competition, in conjunction with one of her valued Travel and Lifestyle partners Kayleen Allen, from A Life of Sundays. Goddess followers were asked to write what their idea of a Life of Sundays was. A big sleep in, it appeared, was among top of the list. And the winner is…Tanya Targett. Here’s an excerpt of what Tanya’s perfect Sunday would look like: “My perfect Sunday is rather boring, but so amazing I can feel the sun on my skin right now. You see, it’s sunny… Perfect weather to take the family out in the boat. And, luck is on our side, the tide is just right so that we can board said boat at a nice sociable 9.30am, having had a glorious sleep in. The air is so warm, the water so exquisitely salty, and the children and husband so fantastically happy. It’s the perfect Sunday, a day in the Sun, that recharges the soul and the spirit for another six days… Til we “repeat as above”.
Congratulations Tanya, you have won a place at Kayleen’s “Heal Your Life, Achieve Your Dreams” workshop in Brisbane on December 7 and 8. This prize is valued at $850. Please email Kayleen on the address below for details.
For those who didn’t win, but are interested in Kayleen’s range of half, full-day and two-day programs and retreats where you will learn to feel valued and appreciated for who you are, loved, nurtured and safe to explore your story, past beliefs and to unlock your true potential, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
AT first I was afraid, I was petrified. Gloria Gaynor is trying to lure me into the Outrigger on the Lagoon Fiji’s Vakavanua bar where a group of merry Maoris is staging a post-wedding party. Before I have time to ponder my comparative lack of rhythm (play that funky music white girl), a woman – twice the size of me and my mate – yanks the two of us onto the dance floor. We are too afraid to protest and frankly, our South Pacific sista has all the moves. It’s only later, when we see her with another woman in an affectionate head lock, we realise how lucky we’ve been.
I’m on this island nation’s Coral Coast but it’s not the usual picture-postcard experience I’m enjoying. Sure, there’s coconuts, hammocks, swaying palm trees, and merry marriage-makers, but there’s just one of Fiji’s fabulous faces. This journey begins in the Sigatoka Valley known as the “fruit bowl of Fiji” which rests inland from the Coast through a lush tropical valley. I’m on the Sigatoka Cave Safari in a bouncy off-road vehicle which makes me wish I’d worn a sport’s bra. Never mind, there’s too much to see as we carve our way through traditional villages before arriving at our destination, and besides, with my bra-less breasts I feel like I’m embracing the inner islander I’m convinced lays inside every uptight white person.
At this stage, I should point out that The Global Goddess is not very intrepid. I’m clumsy, I slip, I trip, and I break bones in the most unlikely of scenarios. I’m talking situations so incredulous, that I have to sometimes lie to emergency room doctors about how events unfolded. But on this occasion, I’m in good company with a group of new friends for whom strange things also seem to happen. And thus we march bravely forth.
“You’re in the jungle now,” our host says simply and with that, we begin a muddy trek down to the Naihehe Cave where the Sautabu people used to eat their enemies. Little white girls like me wouldn’t have stood a chance. We wade through cool water and pass through three chambers including a tight spot known as the pregnancy passage – if you get stuck, it means you are pregnant. Thankfully, there’s none of that here today. Unfortunately, for my friend Laura, who has indulged in a fake tan before her Fiji trip, the cave water does act like a paint stripper, and she emerges looking part Pointer Sister and part Scissor Sisters. Chantay is convinced there’s a (harmless) bug in her hair, I’m thinking about sex, and Shannon is already talking about what she wants for dinner.
Back in the village with the chief and a group of his men, I introduce myself as The Global Goddess and they nod like it’s the most natural thing in the world as we share a sacred cup of kava and partake in this honourable tradition. I only wonder what he makes of me and my motley crew of mates.
The next day I meet Fred, Fiji’s rare crested iguana at the Kula Ecopark Fiji. This is Fiji’s only wildlife park and facility for the breeding of endangered species as well as the only free environmental educational facility for school children. Lounging lizards not your thing? Well you can also cuddle a boa constrictor, or simply wander through this lush acreage punctuated with turtles, birds and bats. Chantay wraps the baby boa around her arm and it gives her a little nip, Laura has gone all jungle-girl in leopard print and lipstick, I’m thinking about sex, and Shannon is talking about lunch.
We spend the afternoon in the Bebe Spa Sanctuary – I told you we were hard core – where I have booked the Ultimate Bebe Fijian Polish. This two-hour treatment includes something called a Dilo (I swear I read dildo) and leaves me scrubbed seashell-smooth and relaxed. At the end of the two hours my therapist looks puzzled and asks whether I have another treatment booked. I reply in the negative and look at the piece of paper she is clutching in her palm. It says simply “back wax.” First I escape the Maori wedding, only to have a close call with a back wax.
We amble back down the hill to the resort. It’s dinner time, Chantay now has pretty pink nails, Laura has survived the massage she had originally feared, I’m thinking about sex and Shannon is talking about food.
The Global Goddess was a guest of Outrigger on the Lagoon Fiji – http://www.outriggerfiji.com. Guests who stay in the resort’s bures and suites enjoy a daily Talai butler service where an attractive Fijian arrives daily with champagne and canapés at cocktail hour. It’s a 24-hour service you can enjoy.
Later this month, the resort will open its exclusive adult’s only pool and poolside bistro called Vahavu which means to “chill out and relax”.
Also check out: Bebe Spa Sanctuary – http://www.bebespafiji.com; Off Road Cave Safari – http://www.offroadfiji.com; Coral Coast Tourism – http://www.coralcoastfiji.org; and Kula Ecopark Fiji – http://www.fijiwild.com.